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benedict left the vatican today in an emotional ceremony witnessed by tens of thousands in romes and millions an the world. the resignation became effective minutes ago at 11:00 our time. right now, pope benedict xvi is resting in the new home, a live picture where you will see the guard, the swiss guards, are no longer standing guard. their job is to protect the head of the church. a few minutes ago, the guards actually closed the doors dramatically and left their post to head back to the vatican. nick is live in rome with the latest. >> pope benedict xvi has performed the final and most memorable act, historic resignation that could transform the catholic church. he ended it humbly. after eight years, a modest simple wave and it was over. (inaudible). >> from the summer retreat, pope benedict xvi closed the door and said good by to the closist advisors and a happy wave before boarding the helicopter and then a lap in the air around the vatican and a beautiful blue sky in rome. each step recorded live by dozens of cameras, which has never been seen before in the history of the c
history with the outgoing pope benedict. >> they have known each other since the early 80's and the cardinal told us he will meet with the pope on thursday morning for a farewell which will be very emotional. when the pope, when he was a cardinal, he chose him to replace him as the prefect of the congregation and when he was pope benedict he elevated him to cardinal in 2006. he retired last year and never thought he would be part of a conclave. pope benedict's resignation surprised him and he is landing to leave for rome tomorrow and said even if you are not catholic he is asking you keep him if your thoughts. >> i will be the first former ambassador -- archbishop of san francisco to have this solemn duty. i rely on the prayers of all the faithful of church and i ask the prayers of my brothers and sisters in other christian communities. jesus has assured us that the prayers we pray to god will receive a response. i ask, as well, the good will and prayers of the whole community for this important moment in the history of the catholic church. >> the conclave is not without con
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